To actually draft the will, no, there is not any need to have any documentation attached. However, to enforce the provisions of the will, all assets will need to be shown to the court if entering probate. There are several ways to prevent probate, which is a costly and time-consuming process for beneficiaries, as you already likely know. Consult with an experienced estate attorney to ensure that not only your five year old will be protected but that you will be protected, as well, in your lifetime, through pre-need guardianship provisions, as one example.
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In order to prepare an adequate estate plan for you, your lawyer needs to be informed of your complete financial and family situation. Certain documents, such as a copy of a trust of which you are a beneficiary, would be helpful in order to complete your plan.
It is not absolutely necessary to have the information you mentioned in order to make a will, but it would be helpful.
A will can generally pass all property that you own without specific reference to particular items of property. However, in order to pass your interest in the New York estate or trust that interest may need to be specifically addressed in your will. For instance, if you hold a "power of appointment" over the trust it may be necessary to reference that power in your will in order to effectively direct how your remaining interest in the trust passes at your death. On the other hand, depending on the terms of the trust it may not be possible for you to control what happens to your remaining interest. The only way to know for sure is to have an experienced attorney review the estate and trust documents and advise you on your rights.
Speak with a good trusts and estates attorney in your area. There are more pressing issues than how you devise your trust income to your heir(s). One is that your daughter, as least for now and for the next 13 years) is a minor and will need to have special provisions made for her under UTMA. You may want to consider a trust that can spell out the how and when she is to receive the estate assets and that will control what her Trustee (conservator) does with the assets before she reaches majority. It is worth a conversation with an estate-planning attorney to carefully review all your options.
A Will can be really general and just state that you want to pass on all of your stuff to your daughter, but, since you didn't mention any other kids or a spouse, I assume that it's just you and your daughter; therefore she would "get all of your stuff" even if you didn't have a Will under the state's intestacy (don't-have-a-Will) laws. What you need is an Estate Plan, not a Will. Watch the video on my website to get an idea of what I mean by Estate Plan. There is a lot more to it other than writing down who gets your stuff when you die.
Please visit our website at www.411FlaLaw.com and watch our video. It is an eye-opener to most people who have no idea how much Planning they can actually do in their Estate Plans. If interested, contact us to inquire about special low cost monthly financing of your estate planning fee. You may be very surprised at how affordable a comprehensive estate plan for your whole family can be. The above answers are not legal advice and should not be relied upon until you meet with an attorney and review all of your particular facts and circumstances. This forum does not create an attorney-client relationship.
You should consider a trust because of your 5 year old daughter.
You can not give assets directly to a minor-so you might as well create
a trust now instead of creating a trust in your will that would go through probate.
Also-you can control the money in the trust past the age of 18 for her benefit
and use the assets for education and medical reasons etc.
You can also stretch her distribution over a number of years instead of a lump sum.
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.